Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway - Tonya Macalino - Spectre of Intention

Where Thumbscrews Fail

In my novel, SPECTRE OF INTENTION, the main character, Kaitlin Osgood has built a highly successful career for herself as an international security consultant. When she’s not flirting with the sexy, but suspicious client or dodging a knife-wielding psychopath from her past, Kaitlin’s job is to coordinate the installation of the high-tech mass-transit security system on the ocean-bound platform for the world’s latest space elevator.

The lives of thousands are in her hands.

So how do she and her team at Counter Measures International do it? A strip-down-to-your-socks system won’t work when you are granting entry to enough people to fill a cruise ship the size of a small city. Once onboard, they’ll have access to all the butter knives they could possibly need to bring about the destruction of the multi-billion dollar transportation system.

No, Kaitlin doesn’t use “non-invasive” scans to check out what you are hiding beneath your underwear. Like any Israeli airport security professional will tell you, it’s not the weapon that kills, but the person. Kaitlin detects intentions. It is her job to call out the bad guys—before they have the chance to turn the contents of the cleaning supply closet into something lethal.

The system her team sets up includes software that watches your face for what is known as “leakage of deceptive behavior” as you answer the security questions, little micro-expressions and other bits of body language that slip past your poker face. Other portions of their systems watch the way you move through the crowd, how you hold your body as you wait in line.

And if Kaitlin’s team decides they are just too suspicious of your suspicious behavior, they ask you to step into Big Blue. And then good luck to you.

Big Blue is Counter Measures International’s ultimate weapon: the interview booth. You know you’re lying. Kaitlin’s team knows you’re lying. And they know that thumbscrews will just make you lie louder and more creatively and that eventually lawyers will get involved. So they ask politely that you please step into Big Blue. And then they sit back and wait for you to do what the whole room knows you are going to do…while Big Blue reads the sweat on your palms, the shifting of your weight on your feet, the pattern of your gaze, your response to various pictures of criminals you claim not to know, the way your brain lights up as you rearrange the truth in your head.

And let’s say you’ve mastered all the cheats for all of that.

You are still screwed.

Because Counter Measures International is cheating, too. Behind all that technological smoke and mirrors sits little ol’ Kaitlin Osgood who can see and feel with her body and mind everything you intend before you even have a chance to act on it.

Again, I say, good luck.

A Little Glimpse Behind The Smoke and Mirrors: The World as Kaitlin Sees It

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the sweep of a flashlight in the dimly lit hall. How small an action to change the comfort of solitude into the chill of isolation. I reached into my bag and palmed a small spritzer of perfume, then turned my purposeful stride up the ramp. I could feel the hot anger coming toward me, knew it would hit me full on once the bearer of all that good will rounded the corner.

The guard and I saw each other at the same time. He lowered his flashlight and for a second I thought I saw something I hadn’t seen in a half a decade: the energy of his intention become corporeal. Ghosting ahead of his own body, a raging image of the man raised his transparent fist and took a swing at me.

I couldn’t stop myself from dodging. His intention scrambled as he stared at me like I was crazy. The ghost image vanished. Probably never even there.

I kept my face blank, kept walking right past him, listened for his footsteps behind me. Didn’t hear them.

Maybe crazy was right.

Spectre of Intention
By Tonya Macalino

Secrets, Kaitlin. Secrets.”

Kaitlin Osgood has a stowaway.

Underneath the glossy shell of the Senior VP for Countermeasures International lurks the tattered remains of the girl she once was: street rat and thief, Ashley Porter. Every day, every decision is brittle with the fear of discovery.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the cruise ship acting as the platform for the latest space elevator, she should finally be safe…

safe from the sexy, enigmatic eyes of Director of Port Security Camden Glaswell who seems to see through Kaitlin’s ruse.

safe from the relentless, burning pursuit of master thief, Stephan Chen, the chief architect of Kaitlin’s former life of crime—the onetime lover who haunts her still.

But Kaitlin has another secret: her talent for security comes not from the latest technology, but from her ability to sense people’s emotions, to see the ghosts of their intentions.

It’s a talent she must learn to wield as a weapon before the mistakes of her past cost Kaitlin her life…

Teaser Excerpt:
If I could just try a door, get into a cabin. Were they all locked?

If I stopped long enough to try one, they’d be on me. Ahead I heard a bright, feminine laugh. I looked, a crack of light. Apologize later. I shoved my way into the room. I reached back to slam the door.

My head shattered.

Shards of pain exploded like so much glass, leaving behind a tender, exposed emptiness. My shrill gasp echoed through it.


The footsteps from the hall followed me in. Someone grabbed my arm from behind as I stumbled forward into the over-bright room. A voice in front of me raised in disgust.

Mak, what the fuck?! Who the hell is this chick? Are you trying to blow everything?”

I raised my head. The man perched on the arm of the sitting room couch continued to rage at the man gripping me, not giving me a second look. But I saw him, saw the changes wrought both by time and man. Hair once a tousled fuchsia, now hung straight, black to his jaw. A once slender frame filled in with muscle under that crisp white shirt. The face fuller, more sensual; the eyes still cocky as hell.

Then I felt it, the warmth of his mind touching mine. Him, sliding in, taking over my very being without meeting defense, without facing a moment’s resistance.

And he must have felt it, too, because at that instant, Stephan Chen turned to look at me for the first time in five long, terrifying years. A smile of triumph spread across his face.

Hello, Ashley.”

Tonya Macalino lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her husband and two children. She is an avid collector of folklore and folk history, far too many to fit comfortably within the pages of any given book. When not working on her latest novel, she runs a handcrafted lotion, cosmetics, and bath company. To read more of the little gems she unearthed during her research, please visit her blog at

For news and events, drop by her Facebook page at

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me over, Donna! Hope you all enjoyed the article. Take care!